Steve Morison was sent off as Millwall's charge towards the play-offs stalled after a goalless draw against stubborn Bristol City at The Den.
The Lions dropped two points against a City side in no mood to roll over despite treading water in mid-table. And a straight red card for Morison, for a stoppage-time lunge on Jamal Campbell-Ryce, could be even more damaging with their 17-goal top scorer now set to miss most of the run-in through suspension.
City were also the more threatening early on through the lively pair of Maynard and Albert Adomah, and then defended resolutely as Millwall's attacks became ever more desperate.
Millwall poured forward in the second half with Tamika Mkandawire blazing over from the edge of the area, Townsend firing straight at James and James Henry curling wide.
Lions' hearts were in their mouths when Maynard burst through with four minutes left and the offside flag stayed down, but the striker stumbled as he was bearing down on goal and the grateful Forde was able to save.
But the drama was not over and in stoppage-time Morison's pointless lunge at Campbell-Ryce, near the touchline on the halfway line, earned him a straight red card.